The classic soup is a mix of mostly raw vegetables (like cucumbers and spring onions), boiled potatoes, eggs, and a cooked meat such as beef, veal, sausages, or ham with kvass. Kvass is a mildly alcoholic beverage made from fermented black or rye bread. Okroshka is usually served with sour cream. Later versions use light or diluted kefir, vinegar, mineral water, or even beer instead of kvass.
The ingredients are diced and then mixed with kvass just before eating. The ratio of chopped food to kvass is similar to that of cereal to milk. This lets the vegetables to keep their texture. Even though the ingredients are similar to those in a Russian salad, the taste of okroshka is quite different.
Okroshka is mostly served in summer. This is because the soup adds the taste of kvass and the lightness of a salad. Salt and sugar can be added according to taste.
Okroshka is always served cold. Sometimes ice cubes are added to keep the soup cold in hot weather.